St Andrew’s United Reformed Church, Cheam
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St Andrew’s • Cheam

Duty descriptions

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Rota: Communion assistant

Before arriving

Please supply and prepare gluten-free bread for all. Gluten-free bread is available in the ‘Free From’ section of most supermarkets and a small loaf is sufficient to provide the single whole slice and the 80-100 small cut pieces that are required. Semi-frozen bread cuts well; very fresh bread does not cut well. Please keep bread separate from gluten-containing products or utensils to avoid cross contamination.

Before the service

Stephen (or his deputy) will leave the wine in the Miles kitchen (check the fridge) and the silver on an adjacent trolley.

Wine trays and the dispensing bottle are in the lower cupboard to the right of the sink in that kitchen. Use sufficient glasses but currently 20 of the 24 per tray are required in each of 4 trays. In addition there are three goblets, two boxed, one loose.

Note the number of glasses actually filled to facilitate the count later.

Silver bread plates are in the blue box; doylies are in the square wooden box. The single slice of bread is placed on the raised plate with a fabric doyly. The cut bread is served on four silver plates with fabric doylies. (Taking the empty plates to the table before filling them works well.) Take two blue napkins from the flat blue box for use in the chapel.

Setting the table:

  1. Stephen (or his deputy) will have positioned the table and laid the white cloth.
  2. Check that the position of the table and chairs allows generous standing room behind.
  3. The small lectern is centrally placed towards the front edge of the table.
  4. The matching goblets are placed on either side of the lectern.
  5. The raised plate with the single slice and the third goblet are placed next to the lectern on the organ side.
  6. Two plates of bread and two stacked wine trays are placed on each side of the lectern allowing room for the collection plate (communion elders’ side) and the Bible (organ side).
  7. Pour a small quantity of wine into the goblets if you have not already done so.
  8. In the chapel for Junior Church leaders use the pottery plate for the bread and the goblet for the wine. Prepare enough for six people. Leave the elements and two blue napkins on the chapel communion table.

Finally with the duty Church Secretary confirm that the communion elders are present and their serving locations have been agreed.

During the service

At the appropriate time take your place at the table on the serving elders’ side and sit down. Relax and take your cue to stand and sit following the celebrant and the duty secretary.

To serve the elements the duty secretary and you will pass the plates of bread alternately to the celebrant who in turn gives the bread to the communion elders. You then sit down.

You stand again when the elders begin to return to be served and you and the duty secretary again receive the plates alternately from the celebrant. The celebrant serves you from the last plate returned.

The duty secretary and the celebrant serve each other. All share the bread together and you then sit down.

The service of the wine to the congregation and elders follows in a similar way except that the celebrant serves you with the goblet on your side. You remain standing until the wine is drunk and you then sit down.

After the service

Take note of the number of filled glasses which remain unused. Move these unused glasses on to one tray to release empty trays for collection of used glasses. Use your starting total of filled glasses and the number unused left over to calculate a number of communicants in the congregation and add three (for the goblets) to that number.

Add to this the number of Junior Church leaders taking communion and give that final number information to the duty secretary. (Congregation + 3 + Junior Church)

The count is your responsibility but the communion elders help with the other tasks.

Check that the arrangements for Junior Church are in place (if you have not already done so.)

Leave the cloth on the Church table but clear everything else away to the Miles kitchen. Left-over wine is poured away and left-over bread is binned.

Monitor and assist in, as required, the collection of used glasses and their washing up. Store plates in blue box, doylies in wooden box, and goblets in correct wooden boxes. The raised plate and third goblet do not have specific containers.

Restore everything to trolley as before. Store wine glasses and trays as before in yellow covers in cupboard. Ensure dispensing bottle is accounted for and washed to be stored as before.

Corrections? Additions?